The formula‘care = organisation + physical labour + emotional labour' identifies component parts of ‘carework’ as they were observed at a hospice. A comparison between women's domestic carework and that of the hospice nurses is made firstly to clarify the component elements of care and secondly to show how the interrelation and balance of the components differs in the two settings. It is argued that family care has been a model for hospice care but that division of labour in hospices, which replicates hospital labour-divisions, results in an inflexibility in hospice care which is incompatible with the ‘family’ model. In the final section it is suggested that emotional labour is likely to be increasingly recognised as part of health care but that the concept of ‘total care’ needs to be questioned.